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I still don’t “get” Texas

I still don’t “get” Texas

Saw the sign below on a bridge in Austin during my trip last month.

The bridge is hundreds of feet above the water.

Do you need to tell people not to dive?


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So you went to Austin and expected things to make sense?

But consider the value in preventing suicides among the civic-minded depressed. Especially the children . . .

I recognize this…the arch bridge on the Capital of Texas Highway. Drove it many times going to work, office was near there. Hope you enjoyed Austin. It looks like it’s grown so much since I left.

Shouldn’t that sign be in Spanish as well? I mean, maybe one of the La Quebrada Cliff Divers might pass by and want to try it.

I am wondering if the sign is not so much for safety but to enable criminal charges, which in turn are hoped to dissuade things like drunk fraternity boys urging drunk wannabe fraternity boys from doing stupid things.

    AmandaFitz in reply to janitor. | November 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I had planned on taking a month long break from ALL posting, but couldn’t resist this post at LI.

    I’ve no question the sign is simply about liability, like MickeyD’s “coffee may be hot” warning.

    HOWEVER, as a survivor of The University of Texas at Austin, I am reminded of all of the water-related dangerous and stupid things we did four decades ago- dam sliding, jumping off cliffs into lakes outside of Austin, etc.- most of which was done under the influence. Never underestimate the stupidity of drunken college students.

Was it put it up after the election?

Hey, “tequila”, Prof. For some women, it makes their cloths fall off. For other people, it makes them want to go swimming…

The sign is less about the education level of people, and more about protecting municipalities against liability for “not warning people not to be stupid.”

    ASR in reply to Paul. | November 12, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I’ve been living in Austin for the past 11 years. Paul’s right – it’s to protect against any liabilities. It’s like people know better, but they know that they could play the system & can easily accuse the city for not warning them. People nowadays are more willing to go to court – funny, I was born & grew up in El Paso, Texas a border city & I never saw a sign like that warning about something we commonsensically should already know not to do.

      2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to ASR. | November 12, 2012 at 9:14 am

      ASR… Nope, our signs are worse: El Paso still has signs on the I-10 entrance ramps notifying drivers that animal drawn vehicles are not permitted on Interstates….. and my favorite are the signs on the roads that go across the mountain (in the middle of town) that remind drivers that there might be large rocks on the road.

    jacksonjay in reply to Paul. | November 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

    And the law professor doesn’t “get” it?????


People will jump from almost anything today, often thinking they will actually survive. The bridge at New River Gorge, WV, actually opens one day a year in October to allow them to base jump from it.

It’s not hundreds of feet: it’s 100 feet and people jump from it for fun. As others have noted, it’s not a Texas thing.

See link for example.

The People’s Republic of Austin isn’t representative of the rest of Texas.

Sign ought to say “dive at your own risk”. Let Darwin and his theory of natural selection happen. Like we say in South Carolina “If you gonna be dumb ya got to be tough”.

legacyrepublican | November 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

It is not as bad as the flip down signs that say “Bridge ices first” that are left exposed during summer.

Another road sign in Texas I always wondered about…. “Caution Guardrail Damage”. What, they expect you to choose another part of the guardrail to hit if you lose control of your car or do they want you to hit the already damaged guardrail?

I also like the signs that read, “High Winds May Exist”. Somewhere in the Department of Transportation there is at least one person with a degree in Philosophy.

    2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to Anchovy. | November 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Dear Anchovy

    I have to disagree with you on the signs for High Wind Warnings. Out here in West Texas, we have lots of cross country travelers via I-10 & I-20 who are not familiar with traveling in vast remote areas. During the early spring, we routinely have winds in the 50 – 60 mph range with gusts up to 90 mph. Driving in those winds can be challenging at best and hampered by low visibility at worst. Toss in light weight vehicles, high profile vehicles, and those towing trailers and you get a pretty crazy mix of driving risks.

    A couple of years ago, my son and I encountered one of those 90 mph gusts. The burst hit us at a 45 degree angle and shoved our very heavy Suburban into the median where we eventually rolled. Fortunately, my son is a great driver and he kept control as long as possible and we all walked away with no injuries.

    2nd Amendment Mother has a point. The winds out here in West Texas are unpredictable and dangerous to drivers. I’ve seen wind gusts on what otherwise appear to be perfectly clear days flip tractor-trailers onto their sides with no warning at all (which makes a mess out of I-10).

    I was driving back from Ruidoso, NM about a week ago from a conference and a wind gust hit my Jeep Wrangler squarely on the passenger side and picked it up onto the two driver side wheels. I managed to keep it on the road, and fortunately there wasn’t anybody else around. It’s one of those occurrences where you just grab the steering wheel, hold on tight and hope that your axle doesn’t buckle under the new strain.

    joethefatman in reply to Anchovy. | November 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Having driven plenty of semis across I-10 and seeing some damn fool being flipped over by wind, I’d say they’re necessary. Do you complain about gale warning flags on the coast?

    Anchovy in reply to Anchovy. | November 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    The point I was making (or not making obviously) dealt with existentialist philosophy, not traffic safety.

    Next time I will make a point about literalism and blog comments.

If it wasn’t necessary, it wouldn’t be there…

In Idaho, the chamber of commerce advertises that you can jump off their bridge (with a parachute) in Twin Falls.

Yes, there is someone (especially in Austin) that is nanny oriented.

That and the fact that while RI, (my native state), has ignorant and arrogant drivers, they are just plain stupid here in the Austin metro area.

Then again if the RI electorate is considered, stupid has become apparent back there.

So yes prof, thou shalt not dive off of the pennypooper bridge!

It’s like all those warnings on ladders:
“Always face ladder when ascending or descending”
“Use at least on hand to grasp ladder”
“Top of ladder should never be used as a step”
“Ladders should never be moved, shifted, or extended while occupied”
“Never carry an object or load that could cause you to lose your balance”
“Failure to read and follow instructions on this ladder could result in injury or death”
“Watch out for power lines or electricity when using a metal ladder”

I wonder how many people who had never thought of diving from the bridge now think of it because of the sign.

Maybe we could get rid of some Obama supporters if they changed the sign to read, “Free Gravity”.


Must have been put up after someone utter those infamous words, “Her. Hold my beer and watch this….”

* Here
(Sloppy finger work.)

Texas may be a Red state, but there are still some Obama supporters living there.

legalizehazing | November 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I told everyone I know not to vote for Obama but some people still jumped… and layed down. .. and rolled over

Austin is a deep blue dot in a sea of red. Great music, food, Dell Computers and U of Texas. Not much common sense most of the time.
Lots of education and the natural socialist/Marxist fallout that goes with it.
Lived in Texas 1986-93 and loved every minute of it. Would move back if the circumstances were right.
Like Ted Nugent said
“I wasn’t born in Texas; but got there as soon as I could”
James Douglass
Garden City, Kansas

Conservative Beaner | November 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

We have our fair share of dumb a$$es here in the Lone Star state. There are those who will dive off that bridge and they are the same ones who drive through low water crossing barricades and call 911 for help.

I say get rid the signs and barricades and let natural selection take it’s course but then again sometimes they take their children with them.

TrooperJohnSmith | November 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Aw, hell… somebody removed the sign that usually hangs right under it:

“Were you injured jumping from this bridge? If so, call 1-512-LawBucks. Note: Attorneys not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Fancy Booth Wearin’.

This smart-ass comment dedicated to the late John O’Quinn, the attorney who proved conclusively that you can be so rich and so powerful that NO ONE can make you wear your damn seat belt.